Album Review: Childish Gambino – 3.15.2020

On his FX show Atlanta, Donald Glover and company have mastered the art of wrapping the political in a veil of surreal comedy and a distinct lack of concern. It’s a show where little happens, and yet says more about race and class in America than a whole month of The Daily Show. Take the skit about a black teenager who wants to transition into “a 35 year old white man” or the quite horrific season two scene where a frat boy tries to impress rapper Paperboi by eulogising Pimp C as “one of the last true prophets” while smoking a joint in front of a confederate flag.

When asked about white people watching the show Glover said to The New Yorker that “I want them to really experience racism, to really feel what it’s like to be black in America… the characters aren’t smoking weed all the time because it’s cool but because they have P.T.S.D.—every black person does. It’s scary to be at the bottom, yelling up out of the hole, and all they shout down is ‘Keep digging! We’ll reach God soon!”.

atlanta

I mention all of this before even arriving at Glover’s new album as Childish Gambino because this is the new mould of his music too. Just like there is no scene in Atlanta where Earn turns to the camera to eulogise about race in America, there are no protest songs on 3.15.2020, and nor do I think he wanted these songs to be more than jams if the listener didn’t want them to be – but this music is also very much a product of the world as it stands in 2020. Continue reading “Album Review: Childish Gambino – 3.15.2020”

The Sorry Scholar’s Best Tracks of March 2020

One of the strangest months in living memory was matched in kind by one of the wildest for music; new gems from Art Blakey and Bob Dylan (17 minutes!), alongside new albums at last from Four Tet, The Weeknd and Childish Gambino, the last released as nameless livestream with no cover. These alongside fantastic cuts from Jarvis Cocker, Haim, Nicolas Jaar, Shabaka and the Ancestors, Jay Electronica, The Dixie Chicks, Disclosure, Norah Jones, Run the The Jewels, Bicep and The Dirty Projectors… If there was every a time to scale this bracing mountain of new talent and thriving legends then it’s now, from the sofa, washing your hands. Find the Apple Music and Spotify playlists below: 

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https://music.apple.com/gb/playlist/the-sorry-scholars-best-of-march-2020/pl.u-GxGguZrl9NG

We love all of these songs, but here’s more on five of the standouts: Continue reading “The Sorry Scholar’s Best Tracks of March 2020”

The Sorry Scholar’s Best Tracks of February 2020

Well well well, what a month. The Strokes return. The Avalanches return. New music from Perfume Genius, Dirty Projectors, Car Seat Headrest, US Girls, La Roux, Kesha, Carly Rae Jepsen, Phoebe Bridgers, Gorillaz, Grimes and Mark Kozelek… what is going on?? Newcomers DJ Knuf, 100 Gecs, Emma Jean-Thackray and Ian William Craig drop gorgeous new songs and that’s all without mentioning a multitude of slaps from Denzel Curry, Nicolas Jaar and Pop Smoke, who we sadly lost this month… This one’s for him 💨 Find the Apple Music and Spotify playlists below: 

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https://music.apple.com/gb/playlist/best-of-february-2020/pl.u-Nb6kTm0ZPDr

We love all of these songs, but here’s more on five of the standouts: Continue reading “The Sorry Scholar’s Best Tracks of February 2020”

Album Review: Against All Logic: 2017 – 2019

The latest in a series of albums with the most satisfyingly unambiguous titles in music, 2017-2019 is the second LP under the Against All Logic moniker of New York producer Nicolas Jaar. The first, 2012-2017, was taken perhaps too seriously. Jaar, a purveyor of intricate and conceptual IDM, clarified that each song was produced in only 45 minutes and so its reception may have taken him by surprise. After all, he had just released a trilogy of meticulous records which covered ground as wide as soundtrack and autobiography and so his AAL collection – which he didn’t even advertise – was perhaps meant as a footnote for diehard fans. An enigmatic talent, Jaar is used to doing the surprising, and that is perhaps an explanation for the music we have here. With an awareness that the world is watching, Against All Logic now means something entirely different. Continue reading “Album Review: Against All Logic: 2017 – 2019”

The Sorry Scholar’s Best Tracks of January 2020

We are happy to introduce The Sorry Scholar‘s Best Tracks of the Month playlists! And what a place to begin: January was a remarkable start to the new decade featuring gorgeous pop from Rina Sawayama and Westerman, new rap classics from Roddy Rich and Max Miller, rich soul from Jeff Parker and The Milk and driving techno from Squarepusher and Nicolas Jaar. Find the Apple Music and Spotify playlists below: 

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https://music.apple.com/gb/playlist/best-of-january-2020/pl.u-gDKlt54XLqA

Continue reading “The Sorry Scholar’s Best Tracks of January 2020”